There’s a lot going on, especially when you’re keeping a watchful eye on all three decks, and things can certainly get a bit hectic as your station grows, with residents and visitors to keep track of, trade deals to make, and the threat of spies and saboteurs to contend with. But everything is kept quite simple with a sparse and intuitive UI, and plenty of helpful tool-tips and icons suggesting where you need to focus your attention.
The game looks great with a bright, cartoon style. There’s a fantastic attention to detail in the alien and building designs, with some wonderful animations for both. Combined with great sound effects, music and VA, Startopia has a great deal of charm and character. It’s also very addictive, as you easily lose yourself for hours trying to create the perfect station.
Criticisms? Well, the combat element is a little basic, simply relying on greater numbers than any sort of strategy, and it’s just too easy to rush your opponent early before they can get established. The fact that there’s only one type of station map is probably the biggest issue, as your custom games will eventually grow rather repetitive when you settle upon a preferred station layout, and this harms long term replay value.
Overall, Startopia was addictive, quirky, amusing and full of charm, and was a lot of fun to play.